Sports

Kobe Paras Grateful for 'Third Chance' at UP After Return From US

Kobe Paras had a winning UAAP debut.
IMAGE MARLO CUETO
Comments

THE long wait was worth it for Kobe Paras as he finally made his debut for the University of the Philippines on Sunday in its 83-82 overtime thriller over Adamson.

"I’m really happy," said Paras, who missed UP's first two games owing to an ankle injury. "It was really tough, but I just thought about it as adversity. My whole life, I’ve been facing adversities so I’m just really glad that I’m back on the court."

In his first UAAP game in maroon-and-white, the second-generation star logged 41 minutes and delivered 20 points, six rebounds, and two blocks, together with an assist and a steal, showing that he's worth all the hype given to him.

Though Paras' plans didn't really pan out the way he envisioned it in uneventful stops at UCLA, Creighton, and Cal State Northridge in the US NCAA, he vows to make the most of this "third chance, not just in basketball but in life."

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"I'm really happy. As everyone knows here, this is my fourth college so I'm just thankful to coach Bo (Perasol) and the whole UP community," he said. "I'm trying to be passionate about the game because when I was in the States, I didn’t really get to play in college and it really hurts.

Photo by MARLO CUETO.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"A lot of people think it’s easy being alone in the States and I had to go through a lot of mental issues, and I think that’s one thing that people really need to understand, that as athletes, we’re human beings as well. I had to face adversity every single day alone but I’m just grateful for the opportunity that UP's given to me."

The former teen prodigy had no doubt choosing to play for the alma mater of dad Benjie was the right decision, saying he wanted to be a part of the rise of this once-cellar-dwelling basketball program while at the same time aspiring to be a better person.

"Of course those high-caliber schools were also in the mix, but I just wanted to start fresh in a school that really has nothing," said the 21-year-old forward, sharing the changes that he underwent before getting to this position.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"One thing I had to change last year was my mindset. As you guys know before, I was going through a lot and I was kind of a hot head. I couldn’t hold my temper and stuff, but that’s one thing I’m trying to fix now, being a better player, being a better person, and that’s what’s basketball is about."

Paras is grateful for shot at a career reboot.

"I’m just really blessed I’m given a third chance in college basketball and that’s rare. For a lot of these student-athletes, they know how it feels. Some of them know how it feels to try and try and try and not get the chance, but I'm just blessed.

"Even though this is just my Plan B, this Plan B is everyone’s dream. So I’m still grateful for everything," he said.

Paras believes this win will be huge as he and the new-look Maroons look to build chemistry.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"This just helps us to build our chemistry. You guys know that this is a new team. A lot of people think it's easy to just have a group of players come in and produce, but it's hard," he said.

"We're not like Ateneo that their players have been with each other ever since, so that's their advantage in this leaguethe chemistry. I'm just glad we have games like this because it brings us together."

This story originally appeared on Spin.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

Comments
View More Articles About:
Recommended Videos
About The Author
Randolph B. Leongson
View Other Articles From Randolph
Comments
Latest Feed
 
Share
The famous DJ on his favorite sneakers, wardrobe essentials, and dressing for events.
 
Share
The Super Bowl, not the Olympics, is now the most valuable sporting event.
 
Share
Not all water bottles are created equal.
 
Share
Doctor Manhattan, Laurie Juspeczyk, Daniel Dreiberg, and Adrian Veidt aren't gone forever.
 
Share
 
Share
The drop in temperature requires this standard piece.
 
Share
The founders of Monsieur Waffles want the world to relearn things about the Philippines.
 
Share
While shooting the November cover story, Esquire threw every updo they could think of at him. Turns out he's fully got it down.
 
Share
With the LG customization tour, the brand highlights that as well as Rene Lacoste and his roots with tennis and creativity.
 
Share
"Carlos was not for the fainthearted. He was a flame that lit up the room."
 
Share
Seiko's cult-classic, solar-powered Arnie watch is built to last.
 
Share
The actor worked with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson to prep for Lando Calrissian's return.
Load More Articles
Connect With Us